Flourish…day 2 & 3


New day…renewed energy…1st off was the garden of Anne Mace in Saanich.  Fiddlestick Pottery was on site and doing a good business. Good thing I got there early and scored a lovely trio of fiddlesticks!  Loved this garden. There were some lovely shade spots…including a bed of Polystichum setiferum to die for.

Cornus kousa

Beautiful shade spots…note the allium!!

Now who knew that River Birch (Betula nigra ‘Heritage’)) would thrive here on the coast. This tree was a mainstay in my Ontario garden. I miss it terribly. Dare I try it here?  Now…yes!!

Now, the garden of Graham Smyth, with a peek-a-boo view of Cadboro Bay. Cadboro Bay is MY Beach. I spent my teen-age years just blocks from here. Who knew that gardening and microclimates existed at that point? I did overhear several fellow delegates commenting on this garden….”Hardy??  Really??”  Yes folks…welcome to Victoria.  We may be in Canada…but the microclimates on the sland can be absolutely incredible.   Here is Restio tetraphyllus…an Australian native.

more Podophyllum…very pale ‘Spotty Dotty”??
 Nope….Petasites palmatus….thanks Plants Ident!!

Agave…clearly made it through the island’s 2017 winter-from-hell.

Libertia peregrinans …. oh…need me some of these!!

Mukdenia rossii


Our native Holodiscus discolour, Ocean spray.

MY Cadboro Bay!

Unidentified…so glossy…so red…so gorgeous!!!

Ok…this one was in a greenhouse!

Dranunculus vulgaris. This was one of two of the tour.  PU!  What a smell!  But a lovely flower!  The next day we saw another one…but the smell was gone!  Hmmm….

Sunday….this was a beautiful garden belonging to Richard Mosselman in James Bay (downtown Victoria). Photos can’t do this garden justice. It was tiny. And voluptuous!  Privacy was the main goal of the garden…but the depth and breadth and richness of the plantings was divine.


Ok…this photo is my regret photo. I saw a lovely little Cornus alternifolia at Alba in the Market Place for $30. and debated…and debated…but eventually declined. Then…the next day…Cornus Alternifolias proceeded to haunt/taunt me. Arghhhh!!!!  Oops…where did that Cornus go??  This is actually a Styrax japonica in bloom. Lovely. Now the Cornus is getting all elusive on me ‘cuz I didn’t buy it!!!  Anyway…..moving on. 

Araucaria araucana…monkey puzzle tree.  This is a HUGE tree eventually, but lovely tucked into a woodland garden.  For now!

Now I know why I just bought a little piece of this. Hacquetia epipactis. 

This particular bed is a little formal for me…but this garden belonging to Lily Maxwell was amazing. Given that the surrounding properties were built on pure rock…this fertile lush garden space was inspiring.

Eryngium ‘Blue Jackpot’?

The next day… a NOT smelly Dranunculus vulgaris. Past its smell prime!!

Lovely garden

What’s this orchid. We saw it a few times on the tour….???

Beautiful Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’

OMG…done!!  An amazing weekend.  Very, very tiring. Overstimulating. So happy to be home, sweet home!!!

Author: joannewesterby

Although I lived in Ontario for 25 years, Vancouver Island has always been home to me. 15 years ago we bought a "little house on the prairie" in Brant County, just outside Hamilton, Ancaster and Brantford, Ontario. Over the years, with a lot of sweat, determination, luck, skill, frustration, elation and endurance we turned that 2 acre clay field into an amazing oasis...as chronicled in Through Leaves. When we recently retired we immediately came back 'home' to the Coast. We have settled in beautiful central Vancouver Island at the edge of Nanaimo on 1/2 acre with a mature shrub garden adjacent to a ravine that winds its way up to Westwood Lake and eventually Mount Benson. Although the garden is mature and gorgeous...it is very overgrown, too homogenous for my liking and needs my personal stamp! I am dizzy with the possibilities!!!

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